A former priest, now working as a school teacher, says more education and awareness efforts need to be done on the new Family Protection Act and human rights amongst rural families before it can be implemented.
Celestine Samo a teacher at Mbita’ama Community High School, North Malaita says human rights is God-given for people but there are cultures that still need to be reformed before it can follow the real call of human rights according to God’s plans for human beings.
Referring to To’obaita people, Mr Samo says the culture still accepts husbands to ‘discipline’ their wives or children and people are generally still unaware of concepts of human rights and domestic violence.
He says as a result men are getting arrested on domestic violence charges when they need to be educated on these matters.
“They became victims because when they acted against human rights, which resulted in domestic violence and arrests or a father bashing his child or a husband bashing his wife, this law seems to contradict what’s already existed in culture whereby a father has certain rights to discipline his wife or child to ensure a good living. This becomes the main confusion and a topic that needs discussion.”
Meanwhile, Mr Samo says a positive measure government agencies and law executors, including the police, need to do is educate people in human rights, before arresting people who break domestic violence laws.
“People should know their rights; right to look after your children, right to look after your wife; right to look after everything according to God’s law and these needs have to be met, but they have legalised these areas once they are being violated.”